In his political discourse, Italian diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli argued that fear is a better motivator than love, which is why it is the more effective tool for a leader if one cannot be loved, and posed the question of whether it is better to be feared or loved if one cannot be both.
Many respected Republican candidates running for high office in 2024 may be "loved" —at least on the political right — they are seemingly polished on the exterior, eloquent, and meet the general public's ideas of "nice."
They do not offend or hurt feelings on Twitter, and they share our visions for policies that would theoretically help turn around an America that we believe is on a downward trajectory. These candidates tout the importance of taking on the cultural wars of our day, and returning to the principles of our founding fathers that have historically made this country great.
But should "playing nice" and "being loved" be a prerequisite for the White House? Should the presidency be about being "liked/loved" and a "nice person" or should it be about defending America effectively from our enemies, both domestic and abroad?
Enter President Donald Trump and a common refrain of some patriots across America: "I like his policies but not his personality."
His personality may not be everyone's cup of tea, rougher around the edges than many would prefer. President Barack Obama was admired by many for his charisma and eloquence. But did charisma and eloquence translate into a stronger, safer America? We all know the answer to that question.
Recently at a Trump speech in South Carolina, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham made this point, that there are no Trump accomplishments without Donald Trump himself. Dick Morris, in his book, "The Return," makes the same point: that a "kinder, gentler" Trump would not have brought about the accomplishments that he won, frankly, by an appropriate bullying of world leaders, Congress, the media, the Democrats, and weak Republicans.
Would it be better to not be totally loved, but to be feared by the likes of North Korea, China, Iran, Mexico, the Taliban, and others on the world stage who have taken advantage of America for decades to the detriment of our great country?
Would it be better not to be"loved," but to be respected by Congress, and have your ideas taken seriously where they stand a chance of actually being passed into law?
Would it not be better to collect fewer likes or loves on Facebook or Twitter, but to actually get the job done so American families can prosper and we actually have a legacy to leave to our children and grandchildren?
Many have tried, many have failed, many have touted our values, not all have succeeded once elected — but could it be that a certain personality and being feared more than being loved is what America needs, especially at this critical juncture in our history, to reclaim the greatness and respect that are so much a part of what America is.